The cost of courage

Eamon Gilmore’s Labour party will be licking its wounds after the Meath East by-election for some time to come.

The party got just 5% of the vote compared to 21% in the 2011 general election.

As a countrywide repeat would consign the party to history it might be sensible to consider what that might actually mean. Would it mean a Dáil populated by more representatives of the calibre of Luke Ming Flanagan, Mick Wallace or Richard Boyd Barrett? Maybe a few more Stalinists like Joe Higgins? Would it mean Sinn Féin, possibly post the Adams/McGuinness leadership, would finally be king makers?

Labour suffered because it recognised the depth of the crisis facing us all and acted accordingly. It is not in any way partisan to point out that they have suffered because they had the courage needed to take some decisions that have restored stability and some hope to this country.

Let us all hope they and others have the steel needed to continue with the unattractive work and are, in time, rewarded for taking that responsibility — a responsibility ignored by their predecessors and never experienced by their detractors.


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